NEC and smoke alarms


Old 06-08-06, 12:01 PM
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Suburb of Detroit
Posts: 283
NEC and smoke alarms

Hi, I was wondering if anyone could tell me what the NEC has to say about smoke alarms.

Where are they required? How many per floor? Are electrical or battery powered or both required? Are they required to be interconnected? Thanks for any insights.
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Old 06-08-06, 12:18 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
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You'll have to check with your local building department as smoke detectors are almost always a local issue. You will probably need hardwired smoke detectors that are interconnected. Sometimes, they can share a circuit with other loads, other times they cannot. Sometimes, they must have an AFCI breaker, other times they cannot. You can often use battery smoke detectors in existing rooms and install interconnected hardwired detectors in all new construction, remodel and addition rooms. These rules are not uniform around the country, and sometimes what is required in one region is prohibited in another.

A general principle to follow is one smoke detector per bedroom on floors with bedrooms, plus one smoke detector per floor without bedrooms. Some localities also require detectors in attached garages and basements with gas-fired appliances. It's also becoming more common for carbon monoxide detectors to be required too.
Old 06-08-06, 12:27 PM
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Suburb of Detroit
Posts: 283
Thanks, I thought it might be a local issue.

I'm not building anything new. I have a two-story house that had one hard-wired alarm upstairs and one in the basement when I moved in.

I'm replacing both hard-wired alarms with hard-wired w/battery backup. I also added a battery-powered alarm on the main floor, where there was no alarm.
Old 06-08-06, 05:01 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: North of Boston, MA.
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Smoke detectors SAVE LIFES !!!!!!

Outside the bedrooms and inside the bedrooms are GREAT, Top of the stairs 1st to 2nd and basement to 1st, bottom of basement stairs and in isolated areas of the basement (work/storage etc., Heat detectors in the garage, and a combo/smoke co2/heat in the utility room is good.

MA. code (sorry to bore you again, but it's where I live)

All smokes/devices interconnected AND battery back up.
1 combo smoke/co2 on each level and outside fosil fuel burning equipment. 1 Smoke in each bedroom. 1 heat detector over each bay of a garage (battery backup).

Existing homes: battery operated are fine. If you want to sell you must have a co2 on each level ( as of 4/30/06) no co2, no sale.
If you add a bedroom entire house must be brought up to current code. If you add on (don't quote) 30% of house size, House Must be brought up to current code.

I'm sure I missed something, But the state has a rule then each town has their adjustments. So always check with the AHJ.

in ANY EVENT, they work and you should have them and if you don't.... Its all about luck.

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